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Welcome to All - with a little warning

Discussion in 'New Members Say Hello' started by Beacy, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    Over the last month there has been a noticeable amount of newcomers to the forum, with a variety of experience and backgrounds.

    I have also noticed a lot of excitement about what to buy for next year.

    WARNING- BE PATIENT

    12 months is a long time in technology and lights and boards will change throughout the year.

    The 1st decision you probably need to make is what software you will use so you can layout your yard in a visualiser. There are 3 main options

    1. Light O Rama
    2. Light Show Pro
    3. Vixen
    They all have free demo versions or a low cost base option

    There are a variety of opinions on each of these, personally I have used Light Show Pro for the last 2 years and this year is was great, but that is for you to decided.

    Once you have laid out your yard with what you want you will have a better idea what you need to buy. This is the next decision you need to make AC or DC. I am totally DC for safety reasons, I don’t need someone including me getting zapped also speaker wire is so much cheaper than extension cables

    The next issue is where to buy, Ebay always seems to be where new people head as they are not aware of the other options, the danger with Ebay is there are so many sellers and you really don’t know what you are getting. There are a few reputable Chinese companies that more experienced members have purchased lights from at very good rates that are low cost and good quality for what you pay. Remember for $4-$6 a string they won’t last a lifetime and you will have some failures.

    The main thing to remember is BE PATIENT it’s no good buying stuff that is cheap if you cant use it or it kills someone. There are plenty of people in chat and on the forums that can answer your questions.

    I hate seeing people log into chat in mid – late November with questions after they thought they had the right stuff only to realise it won’t work together and it’s too late to get the stuff they need.

    There is no such thing as a dumb question
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Nice post Beacy. I would advise anyone who is looking at strings to definitely not get them through ebay. The prices that you can get via Ali Express dealers like Ray Wu are almost exactly the same as what you'll find on ebay but you actually get product support. Before you buy anything ask some questions in the forums of the chat and you'll probably end up with a better/cheaper result. You can quite easily not commit to anything in the 1st half of the year and still end up with an awesome display.
     
  3. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    This is a very good thread and I agree 100%, there no need to rush out now and buy anything especially if your not up to speed with the technology and options available as you have plenty of time to learn before committing.
    I personally ussually dont buy anything until the second half of the year becasue im more working out my song choices and planning what i would like to do. this ussually changes several times before i decide to commit.
    First choose the software you would like and get to know that as the best of lights may not look good if the sequencing is not right and i have seen people wait until late October before starting to sequence and they have had to work very hard to learn and create their sequences while trying to setup their displays. Best if you learn the software first and create a few decent test sequences as what you will find is that with every sequence you will get much better at it. Then by the time the second half of the year comes you will in a much better position to concentrate on the hardware.
     
  4. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I forgot 1 of the most important things in my earlier post. If you can make it to 1 of the lighting mini expos (minis) that are planned for about 1/2 way through next year or if you can catch up with 1 of the dozens of people who have their display locations shown at http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php?action=googlemap then it is well worth it. You will learn so much so quickly it will save you a lot of time floundering around in the deep end.
    Info on the minis is currently at http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/board,9.0.html
     
  5. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    when I Started it cost me thousands of dollars to just get 48 channels going because i didn't have all this great information. Great statement Beacy. Most of us will buy stuff mid year and this usually gives you enough time to sort things out. Another point would be to check out the wiki for coming events in your state most States are having some sort of gathering Or Mini next year, these are well worth a visit to wrap your head around some technology, Gone are the days of plugging a store brought string into a power point and hitting play on the old tape deck.
     
  6. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    I Agree with everything the guys have said before me. this is my 2nd year of synchronised lights using 48channels of LOR boards. next year i am increasing this to 300. i have only been able to do this through asking heaps of questions in chat. ( some that i think are stupid ) the guys there are always willing to give advice and help you out in anyway possible. they also tell you were they went wrong so you do not do the same.
    so jump on in and give it a go i say.
     
  7. toodle_pipsky

    toodle_pipsky Minister of Silly Walks

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    I'll second that, great post, and also add, don't get too excited or you risk burn out. While you're full of energy now you'll want to do a million things and wish Christmas 2012 now, you don't want to get sick of it before you start! That is such great (and true) advice to wait for mid year to make purchases, it's not too late, even September wasn't too late - ramp up then and get excited otherwise you'll loose steam. By all means read up on stuff and keep socialising though, it's the perfect time for it.
    I found that 2nd year (the hard way) that I just got really jack of it having 1 full on year and nearly missed the boat on year 2. This year (4th year) I didn't worry about anything until August and this turned into the most stress free year and the display I have been most happy with.
     

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